Bite Ninja integrates virtually, disrupts traditional QSR staffing30 Aug 2021
Memphis-based entrepreneurs Will Clem and Orin Wilson raised $675,000 in pre-seed funding for their startup Bite Ninja in a round led by Y Combinator, AgFunder and Manta Ray. The funds will be used to scale up their technology which allows for ad-hoc virtual staffing in quick service restaurants.
The startup is aiming to bring the gig economy to the restaurant world by integrating a remote employee ordering system into restaurants’ existing systems but that allow virtual staff – which the company calls Ninjas – to log in from anywhere to take customer orders. According to Bite Ninja, its virtual service workers are able to take orders online, phone calls, drive-thrus, and curbside check-ins. Eventually, the company said it is looking to integrate its technology at national food chains.
"Through our software, recruiting, and training, we can provide restaurants with a huge increase in upsells, near zero defect order-taking, and 100% staff reliability. Add in a new, safer working environment and you have the ingredients for a positive impact,” Orin Wilson told the industry publication QSR Magazine.
Following the initial onset of the pandemic, there has been a continual labor shortage in the hospitality industry that has made it difficult for restaurants to keep their doors open and serve customers. Bite Ninja is looking to help alleviate that strain by providing a socially distanced, flexible solution to restaurant owners. Not only does its system allow for workers to log in from their homes for only the hours that they wish to work, but it is remote, which is a criterion for employment that has grown in popularity over the last year. Prior to the pandemic, one in five Americans regularly worked from home, but today that figure is 71% of workers, according to data from Pew Research.
While remote working is becoming the norm, it has not yet become the case for those serving customers in food and beverage. In order to personalize the remote experience to replicate in-person standards, Bite Ninja created a system that has an interactive display. On this display, the person taking a customer’s order appears against a background of the restaurant’s choosing in a manner that nearly duplicates the face-to-face interaction that most are accustomed to.
While still a nascent technology, the system has been tested at the founders’ own Tennessee-based restaurant chain, Baby Jack’s. There have also been three pilot programs run to test the system across a variety of environments, and the company says it is working to set up pilots at several thousand locations across the country.
In addition to providing access to a staff that can log on and assist during busy rushes at restaurants, Bite Ninja is also responsible for training the staff that it offers restaurant chains. Already, Bite Ninja boasts a workforce of 3,000 Ninjas.
Hard Mtn Dew to launch through a PepsiCo-Boston Beer partnership
27 Aug 2021
From a new partnership between Big Beer and Big Soda comes Hard Mtn Dew, a flavored malt beverage with 5% ABV. The alcoholic drink will be available to consumers beginning in early 2022.Read more
Novolex acquires compostable packaging company Vegware
25 Aug 2021
U.S.-based packaging manufacturer Novolex acquired Scotland’s Vegware, a company that makes renewable, plant-based materials designed to be commercially composted alongside food waste. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.Read more
Food waste fighting app partners with Aldi Süd and RIMI Baltic
23 Aug 2021
Food waste is an ongoing and expensive issue for manufacturers, retailers and consumers. To help alleviate waste and the end of the supply chain, Aldi Süd and RIMI Baltic have partnered with Plant Jammer to install a widget on their websites that helps...Read more
Cannabis ice cream is becoming big in the U.S.
18 Aug 2021
Hot summer days call for a cool scoop of ice cream, but for those that are interested in chilling out in more than just temperature, Boston-based ice cream brand Emack & Bolio’s has partnered with the multi-state cannabis operator MariMed to bring cann...Read more
Singapore snacking startup making indulgent foods healthy grabs $3M in funding
12 Aug 2021
Singapore-based Hoow Foods, which develops better-for-you versions of indulgent snacks and ingredients using artificial intelligence (AI), announced it secured S$3 million in a Series A funding round. The round was led by Singapore-based venture firm F...Read more
Coca-Cola sells its first nonfungible token
10 Aug 2021
Beverage giant Coca-Cola auctioned off its first-ever NFT or nonfungible token to commemorate International Friendship Day on July 30. Proceeds from the action, which totaled 217 ETH or $569.805, went to Special Olympics International.Read more
Quorn invests in new French extrusion technology
5 Aug 2021
Heritage plant-protein maker Quorn awarded its most recent Future Food-Tech Innovation Challenge award to French startup Umiami for the company's novel extrusion technology process that promises thicker, more realistic cuts of plant-based protein.Read more
Plant-based nugget prices cheaper than real chicken
3 Aug 2021
Chickenflation is a real thing, and plant-based protein maker Alpha Foods is taking advantage of skyrocketing chicken prices to grab the attention of non-meat eaters and meat eaters alike.Read more
World’s first waxed vegan cheese wheels launch in Netherlands
28 Jul 2021
A Netherlands-based cheesemaker called Max&Bien debuted the world’s first vegan cheese wheel coated in paraffin wax to emulate traditional-style Dutch cheeses. This vegan cheese comes in 1.2-kilogram wheels for cheese and delicatessen stores as well as...Read more
Israel's Better Juice closes $8M funding round, plans for US debut
26 Jul 2021
Better Juice, which produces a sugar-reduction technology for juice, closed an $8 million in seed funding in a round led by iAngels Israel. The Israeli startup said it will use the funding to scale its production of sugar-reduction technology while als...Read more
Are you a supplier?
Here's what we can do for you
- Generate quality leads for your business
- Stay visible for 365 days of the year
- Receive product inquiries and respond to meeting requests directly
- Improve company online presence through Search Engine Optimisation